Tattersalls Stakes (Registered As The Somerville Tattersall Stakes) (Group 3) | 7f | 2yo | ITV4/RTV
The last three winners of this juvenile event have gone on to make their presence felt in Group 2 company.
Elarqam (2017) and Wichita (2019) won the York Stakes and Park Stakes respectively, while Arctic Sound (2018) finished a narrow runner-up in the German 2,000 Guineas early in his three-year-old campaign.
Despite this year's edition of the Tattersalls Stakes looking slightly below-par on paper, sights could be set higher than Group 2 level for likely favourite La Barrosa, a son of Lope De Vega who cost a whopping 750,000gns at the sales last year.
Trained by Charlie Appleby, La Barrosa was well backed on debut and sliced through a good-looking field at Ascot after a slow start, eventually scoring by a length and a quarter under hands-and-heels riding.
He should get conditions to suit (would not want the ground firmer than good) and has proven this trip is perfect at this point of his career.
La Barrosa has the best part of a stone to find with his exposed rivals on official ratings but he's only had one start and is open to a chunk of improvement. Godolphin will be hopeful of recording their first winner of this race since Maftool in 2014.
He may be a touch short in the market for most punters, though, and the value play is probably Qaader, who looked a potential superstar on debut but has failed to add to that success in three subsequent outings.
His Coventry Stakes second was equally promising, though the form hasn't worked out overly well, and he has shaped like this trip would suit better than six furlongs on his last two starts.
It would not be a surprise if he bounced back and overturned the form with recent foe Yazaman, who comes into the race on the back of four seconds from his last five races.
He has not been rewarded for his consistency and appears to be leveling out after showing dramatic improvement early in the season.
He beat Qaader in the July Stakes and Richmond Stakes but would prefer a fast-run six furlongs and the visor is not sure to have the same effect this time around.
Top-rated Ventura Tormenta, trained by Richard Hannon, and Dark Lion have good form in the book but look vulnerable against less-exposed types.
Albadri has plenty to find on figures and is untried on going faster than soft.
La Barrosa looks to back up a hugely exciting debut win at Ascot last month where he defeated Enable's brother Derab.
He was handed a quote of 50-1 for next year's 2,000 Guineas after the win and those odds could look attractive if his progression continues here.
Many of Charlie Appleby's juveniles have benefited from a run this seasons and the trainer said: "La Barrosa produced a very pleasing debut at Ascot and has come out of the race well.
"We felt that he has shown us enough to merit the step up to Pattern company and this should tell us more about his future."
Richard Hannon won this race with Larchmont Lad in 2016 and relies on Ventura Formenta this time.
He will have to saddle a 5lb penalty he for winning a Group 2 Prix Robert Papin in July.
What they say
Tim Palin, racing manager to Middleham Park Racing, owners of Ventura Tormenta
Pat Dobbs has always thought six or seven furlongs rather than five and six was the best way to go with him so it will be interesting to see how he handles this new trip. He has a Group 2 penalty which doesn't make things easy but he has the form and experience in the book whereas others in the line up may not. We'll be delighted if he can finish third.
Jane Chapple-Hyam, trainer of Albadri
It was no fluke when he won on his debut at Windsor at 100-1 as the key factor was the soft ground. He has worked a couple of times on the watered gallop which runs next to the Rowley Mile so should handle the track and if we get more rain it will help. We'll be delighted with a place.
Roger Varian, trainer of Dark Lion
The track will suit him and he has some good form in the book including fourth in the Coventry at Royal Ascot. He goes there with an each-way shout.
Richard Hills, assistant racing manager to Hamdan Al Maktoum, owner of Qaader
He's stepping up from six furlongs and is bred to get the trip. It looks a tough race but he deserves to take his chance.
Tom Marquand, rider of Yazaman
It would be nice if he could get his head in front gain as he has run some massive races in defeat incuding when second in a sales race at Doncaster last time. He shapes as if a try at this trip of seven furlongs is worth a shot and he should be thereabouts again.